Vince Beiser (@vincelb) is an award-winning journalist specializing in social issues, technology, and the places they intersect. His latest book is The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.
What We Discuss with Vince Beiser:
- Sand is to cities what flour is to bread — without sand, civilization as we know it could not exist.
- Sand is at the core of our daily lives, used to make concrete, glass, asphalt, silicon chips in laptops, and smartphones.
- Usable sand is a finite, endangered resource and desert sand doesn’t work for construction — in fact, Dubai imports sand from Australia.
- There’s a black market for sand, and there are sand pirates — it’s a resource over which people literally die.
- Nearly 70% of sand on Earth is quartz (one of the most common minerals on earth), and the cycle to create new sand takes 200 million years.
- And much more…
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Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. And whether you realize it or not, sand is a precious, finite, and increasingly endangered resource upon which the very survival of our civilization depends.
The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization author Vince Beiser joins us to explain why this seemingly plentiful resource is in such demand, what separates useful sand from useless detritus, how sand fuels a thriving black market and murderous pirate trade, and the consequences humanity will face when this resource runs out. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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More About This Show
It’s come to this: an entire show about sand. And while you might be tempted to take a sleepy cue from The Sandman and nap this one out, we urge you to give it a chance. Because whether you know it or not, you owe your way of life to sand. Computers? Smartphones? Cities? Not possible without the stuff.
But it’s got the be the right stuff — not just any sand will do, as Vince Beiser, author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization explains.
“Nobody ever thinks about it; nobody gives it a second thought,” says Vince. “It seems like the most boring thing in the world. But come to find out it’s actually the most important solid substance on Earth. Without sand, we have no modern civilization. I had no idea about that. I had no idea of how important sand is. I had no idea how it’s completely transformed life on this planet. I had no idea that people were being murdered over it until I started looking into it, and then come to find out it’s actually an incredibly important and — to me, at least — deeply fascinating subject.”
Most of the sand used by the modern world goes into concrete — sand and gravel glued together with cement — which is what every apartment block, every office tower, every shopping mall, and pretty much every building is made out of. These buildings are windowed by glass made from sand and connected by roads made from sand. Those of us inside the buildings are reading and writing on computers and communicating with one another on smartphones with chips made from sand.
“Without sand,” says Vince, “there’s no modern civilization. And the craziest thing about it is: we are starting to run out.”
It’s easy to wonder how this can be. We’ve got deserts and beaches covered in sand — it’s the most abundant thing on the planet, but it’s also used more than any other resource on the planet aside from air and water.
“We use about 50 billion tons of sand every year,” Vince says. “That’s enough to cover the entire state of California every single year. So of course there’s a lot of it, but at the end of the day, it’s a finite resource. It’s like anything else — there’s only so much of it. And the amount that we’re using has grown exponentially in the last couple of decades and that’s starting to develop into some really serious problems. All over the world, we’re stripping bare river beds, beaches, floodplains…to get at the sand, causing massive environmental damage.
“In some places, the demand is so intense that organized crime has gotten into it. There’s a black market in sand and the organized sand gangs do what criminals do everywhere: they bribe police and government officials to leave them alone, and if you really get in their way, they will kill you. Hundreds of people have been murdered over sand in the last few years.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about what sand really is, why desert sand is mostly useless for making concrete (prompting Dubai to import sand from Australia in spite of being surrounded by the stuff), how long it takes for the useful sand we need to form, why California imports sand for its beaches from Canada, why one of the poorest regions in the United States remains economically disadvantaged in spite of the highly pure quartz sand found there supplying the means by which most of the world’s computers and smartphones are made, the fact that China used more cement in construction over the past few years than the United States did during the entire 20th century, the environmental havoc caused by — and crimes committed in — the search for more sand, and much more.
THANKS, VINCE BEISER!
If you enjoyed this session with Vince Beiser, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Vince Beiser at Twitter!
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And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser
- Vince Beiser’s Website
- Vince Beiser at Facebook
- Vince Beiser at Twitter
- The Ultra-pure, Super-Secret Sand That Makes Your Phone Possible by Vince Beiser, Wired
- The Deadly Global War for Sand by Vince Beiser, Wired
- ‘Jungle Raj’ of Sand Mafia Rampant Across India; MLAs, Police Force on Target, IndiaTV
- When the Hills Are Gone: Thomas W. Pearson on the Impact of Frac Sand Mining — in Western Wisconsin and Beyond by Jason Zasky, Failure
Transcript for Vince Beiser | Why Sand Is More Important Than You Think It Is (Episode 97)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. Today, we're talking with Vince Beiser, author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. I know what you're thinking. A show about frigging sand.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:15] Don't do not yet. Don't do that yet.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:17] Yes, that's what I was -- I thought that too. I thought when I got this pitch, I was like, whatever? Why would you even send me this? And that's what I thought, I really wasn't into it. And then I've read the pitch and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I'm going to grab this book even though I'm not going to do a show on it. And then I read the book and I thought you all might be as interested in some of this as I am. And today, we'll learn why sand is to cities and indeed to our civilization what flour is to bread, what cells are to our bodies. We simply wouldn't have the modern age as we know it without sand, and we'll discover why this might be one of our most precious and endangered resources, even though we've gotten massive deserts full of this stuff, and we'll learn about sand pirates and the black market for sand and why people are literally dying and being murdered over this stuff. I know! An episode about sand, I'm curious to hear what you think of topics like this. Yes, it's a departure from our normal fare, but I thought it was a worthy one. If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage a lot of these relationships I have using systems and tiny habits, check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course, and don't forget we've got worksheets for today's episode. That's how you can make sure you solidify all your understanding, all the key takeaways here from Vince. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. People love those worksheets, so get after it. All right, here's Vince Beiser.
[00:01:37] I never thought that I would be interested in sand, Vince. I really, and I didn't think anybody else would either to be Frank. I was surprised that there was a book on sand. And as soon as I saw the pitch in my inbox, I immediately deleted it and then I went back and read it and went, “Actually, this sounds kind of interesting.” Sand pirates, sand wars. What is this all about? So I grabbed the book and I'm glad that I did. So thanks for coming on the show today.
Vince Beiser: [00:02:03 Well, thanks for having me. I'm glad you had second thoughts, but I can't say that I really blame you. I mean, if anybody had told me three, four years ago that I was going to be spending my every waking hour thinking and talking about sand, I would have just laughed.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:18] Yeah. How does somebody get interested in what most people don't even consider to be a natural resource? When you could have written about water, you couldn't have written about anything but sand. It's so boring. Technically, it's just a little fine powder that we walk on the beach and we don't think about it ever.
Vince Beiser: [00:02:38] Right. But the thing is, I mean, exactly, if nobody ever thinks about it and nobody gives it a second thought. It seems like the most boring thing in the world, but come to find out it's actually the most important solid substance on Earth. I mean, without sand, we have no modern civilization. And I had no idea about that, I had no idea of how important sand is. I had no idea how it's completely transformed life on this planet. I had no idea that people were being murdered over it, until I started looking into it and then come to find out. It's actually an incredibly important, and to me at least, deeply fascinating subject.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:17] In the book, The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. You're sitting here, grabbed it. I'm sitting here, I grabbed this book and I think, “All right, Vince impressed me. Tell me why sand is important.” And the analogy you give is really apt. Sand is to cities, what flour is to bread, and for the gluten free of us listening to the show, it's what cells are to our bodies. So it's pretty damn important. It's in everything that we need essentially to enable our current civilization. And when you made that statement, I thought that's BS, you're just going to mention Rhodes and I'm going to say “Fine.” We would have found something else and be done with it. Tell us why sand is the kind of a cornerstone of evolved civilization as we know it.
Vince Beiser: [00:04:01 Well, we use sand for all kinds of things, but topping the list is concrete. That's the thing that we use sand for the most. And concrete also is one of those things that really nobody barely anybody ever thinks about. But without concrete is what all of our modern cities are built out of it. Every apartment block, every office tower, every shopping mall is made out of concrete, and concrete is nothing but sand and gravel glued together with cement. And once you realize that, you start looking around and realizing that you are actually surrounded by, you're probably sitting in a building made of just a huge pile of sand and also as you mentioned all the roads connecting all those buildings also made out of sand, the glass, the windows and all those buildings also made a sand glasses, nothing but sand that's been melted down. The microchips that power our computers, our cell phones, all of our other digital goodies also made from sand. So without sand there's no modern civilization. And the craziest thing about it is we are starting to run out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:06] And that doesn't make sense to me either initially. Of course, now I know the answer as to why this is happening, but whenever I go to the Middle East, or whenever I go to pretty much any place that has coastline, there is a freaking ton of sand. I mean when we watch movies like Mad Max, the whole thing is sand. There's no buildings as far as we can see. How could we possibly be running out of sand?
Vince Beiser: [00:05:29] So it's a good question. Of course, there's lots of sand in the world. It's actually the most abundant thing on the planet. There's more sand than anything else. However, we also use it more than any other resource in the world, more than anything else except air and water, as I think you said already. We use about 50 billion tons of sand every year. That's enough to cover the entire state of California every single year. So of course, there's a lot of it, but at the end of the day, it's a finite resource, it's like anything else. There's only so much of it. And the amount that we're using has grown exponentially in the last couple of decades. And that means that starting to develop into some really serious problems all over the world. We're stripping bear, river beds, beaches, floodplains, stripping them bare to get at the sand causing massive environmental damage. And yeah, like I said, in some places the demand is so intense that organized crime has gotten into it. There's a black market in sand and these organized sand gangs do what criminals do everywhere. They'd bribe up police and government officials to leave them alone. And if you really get in their way, they will kill you. Hundreds of people have been murdered over sand in the last few years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:47] I want to talk more about that in a bit, but I think first of all, people are still confused. If there are anything like me, they're hung up on, “Okay, it covers the State of California, but Saudi Arabia is covered in sand and that's bigger than California. What's the problem? Why can't we just use the sand that we so clearly see all over the place in concrete and call it a day?
Vince Beiser: [00:07:07] Okay, so the reason is all of that desert sand is basically useless to us. So the sand, like I said, concrete is the number one thing that we use sand for by far. And desert sand is actually the wrong shape for making concrete. Desert sand has been eroded by wind over thousands, millions of years, tumbling those grains, so that their shape, the shape of the grains is actually kind of rounded and so they don't lock together. Whereas the sand that you find at the bottom of rivers, at the bottom of lakes or in floodplains, it's got more corners and edges and angles, so it locks together to form a stable structure. It's like the difference between trying to build something out of a stack of marbles as opposed to trying to build something out of a stack of little tiny bricks. So that desert sand is completely useless to us, so you can cross all that sand off your list. And what we're left with, like I said, is the sand that you find in waterways and rivers and lakes, even on the ocean bottom, on beaches, and in places where the rivers used to be. And again, there's a lot of that stuff, but only a certain amount and getting it also very often entails a lot of environmental damage.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:20] Sure, that makes sense. And I definitely want to dive into more of that as well, but I still don't really understand, or the listeners still won't really understand why we just can't use the sands. Sure, it's a different shape. Why is it a different shape, isn't it sort of from the same stuff initially? Why does being in water make it useful?
Vince Beiser: [00:08:40] So most sand on Earth, the word sand just means little bits of any hard stuff. So it can be any kind of rock, feldspar, whatever. But most sand in the world is quartz, and that's the stuff that we mostly use for construction and glass and all these other things we're talking about. Those grains tumbling around in rivers. Most of them come originally from rock. They're from mountains and other rock formations that get worn down, weather, the rain, the wind is constantly beating on those mountains and rock formations chipping off little bits of them, little grains, which get carried down by rains and swept into rivers and transported far and wide. Now the grains that are in those waterways in the rivers and in places where they've been carried to by rivers. They get eroded, they bang along, they're carried along and smash into each other, but the impact of them crashing into each other is cushioned by the water. So when those grains are first broken off of a mountain or a rock face, whatever it is, they're very sharp and angular, and of course, they get eroded some, they get worn down some in a river, but because they're surrounded by water at all times, that water cushions the impact and they erode much less in the desert. They're just banging full force into each other. The wind is blowing them along and those grains are smashing into each other full force with nothing to cushion the impact. So their edges and angles get worn down much more quickly. And keep in mind, of course, I'm talking about geologic time here, so we're talking about tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years that it takes. But that's basically the erosion process in a desert is much harsher, those sand grains are being tumbled and bashed around much harder and so all their edges and corners are getting broken off much more quickly geologically speaking than the stuff you find in rivers and other places. Does that make sense?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:42] It does, yeah. So the wind is blowing it around. It just kind of files it off within, I don't know, a few hundred thousand years. I mean, I'm just spit balling. I have no clue how long that process takes.
Vince Beiser: [00:10:51] Exactly. I don't know exactly either, but less time they get worn down much more quickly in the desert than they do in the water.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:59] And how long does it take to create sand generally? There's got to be some kind of generally accepted cycle to create sand, and it's a really long time.
Vince Beiser: [00:11:09] Yeah. It's hundreds of thousands of years. The sand can often -- it often has several lives. So what often happens is and again when I say often I'm speaking in geologic terms, but a bunch of sand might get broken off of a mountain top, washed down into a plane somewhere and then that sand, the sand in that river bottom or that's on that floodplain or whatever gets buried might get buried under subsequent geological layers and pushed down under the Earth and compressed and turned into sandstone. You've heard of sandstone?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:44] Sure.
Vince Beiser: [00:11:44] Sandstone is yeah, well what that is, is rock that was turned into sand, crushed down into sand, and then compressed back into rock. But it's very soft rock because it's just grains of sand that had been bound together again by pressure and naturally occurring cements. And then that sandstone may get pushed up again by geologic forces over hundreds of thousands of years and worn away again and again, broken down back into grains. And that process can go around and around several times. So an individual grain of sand can be millions of years old.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:19.7] How old is the sand that we're using typically?
Vince Beiser: [00:12:22] I mean, it varies because we use sand all over the world. They build concrete structures and make glass in pretty much every country on Earth, and most of the sand is mine domestically. It comes from the country in which it's used. So it runs the gamut from X thousand years to X million years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:42] Geez. Okay, so that explains why there is such a finite amount of this because it's not like, “Hey, by the time we use it all, there's a bunch more.” It's like, “No, we got away to a couple of hundred thousand or more years for this stuff to break off in the right way.” And at the rate we're using it, which we'll talk about in a minute, never going to happen. We're fully eclipsing the rate of creation here.
Vince Beiser: [00:13:01] Exactly. You got it. It's a lot like oil in that way. Nature is always creating more, more fossil fuels and also more sand. But the rate that we're using it up is an order of magnitude, several orders of magnitude faster than the rate at which new stuff is being created.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:20] So that explains why, and of course, I've read this in the world in a grain that exporters' in Australia are literally selling sand to Arabs, because Arabs and then Middle East, Dubai, et cetera, are expanding their cities so rapidly and they can't use desert sand. We're selling sand to the Middle East, who live in a desert. That to me was kind of the definition of insanity here.
Vince Beiser: [00:13:45] You got it. That's how crazy it gets. Only slightly less crazy is here in Los Angeles where I live. We actually import sand all the way from Canada to put on our beaches because our beaches are eroding so fast and we're so tapped out on nearby sources of sand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:02] So we have to actually import sand to stave off the erosion, that's probably at least partially caused by the fact that we're sand mining for other things off the coast and washing our own beaches away?
Vince Beiser: [00:14:12] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:13] Jeez. All right, so the insanity continues.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:14:19] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Vince Beiser. We'll be right back after this.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:24] There must be different types of sand because if we're making glass, we're making concrete, we're making roads. Is this all the same stuff? Because sand, there's different colors, there's got to be different stuff in there. And sand just kind of a generic term for small bits of minerals. Is that right?
Vince Beiser: [00:17:38] So sand, like you said, can be a little grains of any hard material. If you really want to get into the weeds, it's any grain with a of between two millimeters and 0.06 millimeters. So, and of course, there are lots of things like that. Like you can have sand that's made from crushed up shells, from ground up, bits of bone or living organisms. That's called biogenic sands and other all kinds of rocks, feldspar, obsidian, that's why you get different colored sands on different beaches around the world. But most sand the bulk of the grains that you find on your typical beach, in your typical sand pit, most of it is quartz. Quartz is silicon dioxide SiO2, and it is the reason that you see so much of it is it's very courses, very, very hard. First of all, there's a lot of it in the world. It's probably the most abundant thing in the Earth's crust. Secondly, it's really, really hard. So remember, we were talking about how sand grains are broken off mountains and then they're carried along in rivers, banging and smashing around for what can be a very long time. Other grains of other materials tend to get broken down into dust by that long bruising journey.
[00:19:03] Quartz grains survive much better because they're so hard. So that's why there's so much quartz sand around. So quartz sand is the stuff that we really, that we need, that we use the most of. And then the main differentiation when it comes to how we use it is the level of purity, how much the purity of the quartz in that sense. So to make concrete, you don't need especially pure quartz, you want a lot of quartz but you can have other stuff mixed in there. So construction, sand, the stuff we make concrete out of, that's the most common type. You can find it really pretty much everywhere, just about every country, just about every state in the United States. You have construction grade sand. The next level up is the sandy use for glass making. Now, glass needs a much higher level of purity in the quartz because otherwise your glass comes out looking all funky, and for that you need, so you need it to be 95 percent or higher pure quartz, which is harder to find, but there's still a fair bit of that. There's a lot of it in Ohio, which is why Ohio had a huge glass making industry for a long time. It still does produce a lot of glass, and you have regions like [indiscernible] [00:20:13] and France, which is where the top European glassware and crystal where they get their sand from [indiscernible] [00:20:20 ]because it's something on the order of 98 percent pure.
[00:20:24] So that's the stuff you need for glass, and then take it up another level to get your sort of high tech silica, the stuff that you need to create silicon based applications like photovoltaic cells for solar panels and certain kinds of industrial lighting, stuff like that. And the very tippy top of the heap is the purest quartz that's ever been found anywhere on Earth, comes from a small little region in rural North Carolina up in the Appalachians. And this stuff, it's called spruce pine quartz. It is so pure and it's so hard to find quartz of this purity that it is used to make pretty much every computer chip or every kind of chip that powers a digital device anywhere in the world is probably made with equipment made from this spruce pine quartz, because they have yet to find anything else that, that matches its purity.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:23] So you mentioned Appalachia, not really what I think of when I think rich affluent area with tons of natural resources. So if that sand is so valuable and it's taken from this one of the poorest areas of thinking in the United States, what's going on here? How come the money is not sitting in those towns?
Vince Beiser: [00:21:43] In a nutshell because the mines are all owned by a multinational corporation. They’re owned by a company called Unimin, which is a big American based mining outfit, which is owned in turn by a Belgian based outfit called Sibelco, so they own it all. The mining is highly automated, so there's very few jobs that are created and quartz leaves North Carolina and the profits flow to Unimin and to Sibelco.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:12] Ah, that makes sense. Okay, well that answers that. So, all right, we need how much sand every year? Because I think that's something we should highlight because it sort of gets into why we're destroying the rest of the Earth trying to get it, because these numbers when they're so big, they kind of don't really mean anything tangible. After a certain point, I just don't really understand. I can't wrap my mind around how big a number that actually is.
Vince Beiser: [00:22:37] Absolutely. It's a tough one to get a handle on. The number is almost just shy of 50 billion with a B, tons of sand every single year. For instance, so most of that, like I said, goes to make concrete. To give you an idea of how much concrete we use every year, we use enough concrete to build a wall, 90 feet high and 90 feet across right the way around the planet at the equator.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:07] Wow. Okay, it's massive. When are we going to run out at that rate of use?
Vince Beiser: [00:23:12] That's really hard to say. I mean the short answer is not anytime soon. We're not going to actually like the very last grains of sand, we're not in danger of hitting that point. It's not going to be like the road warrior. We're not going to have gangs of bikers fighting for the last little piles of sand left on Earth. But what is happening already is the stuff that's the easiest to get at has largely been tapped out. And it means that we're having to go further and further and do more and more damage in order to get at the stuff that's left. Again, it's pretty similar to what's happening with oil and natural gas. There's people keep talking about peak oil, but of course, there's still a lot of oil left on the planet. It's just that the stuff that's close to the surface that's easy to get at, we've pretty much used up all that stuff. And so now, we're having to turn to things like fracking and deep sea drilling, digging miles below the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and places like that to get at the oil. Well, a similar thing is happening with sand, the stuff that's the easiest to get at is increasingly tapped out, and people are having to go further and further away from the cities where that sand is consumed and do more and more damage to get the sand that we need.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:29] So we're talking about purity for like solar panels and computer chips and things like that. What level of purity are we talking about? Because I've read that, “Oh, it's got to be like 99.9 percent pure for some of this stuff.” And of course, anything naturally occurring is never really going to be that pure, even the purest that appears still has to be refined in some way. So give us a hint on what a silicon wafer in a semiconductor needs to actually be.
Vince Beiser: [00:24:54] Yeah, well, it's 99 point, I'm not even going to try and say it, but it's 99 point with 11 nines after the decimal, that degree of purity, which means something like for every billion atoms of silicon, you have maybe like 20 add atoms of some other material. And that is really hard to get to that level of purity as you said. I mean, silicon itself doesn't occur naturally at all anywhere. So just extracting the silicon from silicon dioxide, which is your quartz sand, just doing that is hard enough. It takes some very elaborate industrial and chemical processes. And then there's a whole series of further steps that the stuff is put through to refine it further. It's an incredibly complicated process. I go into all the details in the book, but suffice to say, it's an incredibly elaborate process that is usually carried out, not just by one company, but several companies. So the sand will be mined by one company and then maybe separate it out into the first level of silicon by one company, which will then sell it onto another company that does the next level of refining and so on and so on. And at each stage as the silicon gets more and more refined, you can sell some of that for different applications like the silicon that we use for solar panels, for instance, has to be, I think 99 with four nines after the decimal level of purity, something like that. Anyway, it's got to be very, very pure, but not as pure as the stuff for computer chips. So sort of halfway along the path to computer chip grade silicon, you have stuff that's good enough for solar panels so you can sell some of that stuff. And some of that then has to keep going on and on and on, until you get to that final level where it's almost like as pure as human beings have been able to so far make it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:00] That's incredible. So to give you, to sort of illustrate this for the listener computer chips, the silicon we're using needs to be 99.99999999999 percent pure.
Vince Beiser: [00:27:13] Thank you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:14] That's how pure that has to be. And that's not, I'm not making that up. That's 11 nines after the decimal. I don't think I've ever had to use that many after the decimal to talk about any kind of purity. That's ridiculous. And so of course, that means that we're using tons of quartz and literally tons and tons of sand just to get a little semiconductor to shake that out of the bottom of the funnel.
Vince Beiser: [00:27:37] Yeah, we are using a fair bit. I mean, actually, even though it's so important, the semiconductor industry doesn't actually use that much sand by volume. I mean it's a tiny, tiny fraction compared to what we use for concrete or even for glass, which is the number two thing we use for sand. We use a fair bit, but ultimately the products are quite small. The silicon wafers and you compare that to just take a look at your window at any building or at the street below you. And the sheer volume of sand that we need for that stuff is way many, many orders of magnitude more than we're using for silicon. It is of course way more expensive, so the sand that we use -- so the stuff that comes from spruce pine, that quartz, it's a little confusing, but bear with me, the dispersed pine quartz doesn't actually go to make the chips themselves. What it's made for -- what it goes to make is the equipment in which we make that silicon. So what happens is you take silica sand, high purity silica sand and turn it into very pure silicon. Then you need to melt down that silicon, so you can make it into chips, but you can't just throw that stuff into a metal pot. If just the slightest bit of contamination will ruin it. So you have to throw it into -- you have to melt it down in a container, in a crucible as they're called, that will not react with that silicon chemically at all, and that's also strong enough to withstand the heat that you need to melt that silicon. And there's only one thing that can do both those things, and that is ultra-high purity quartz, and this is where the spruce pine quartz comes in. Basically all of the crucibles that in which that silicon is melted down are made from spruce pine quartz. So that spruce pine quartz is very rare, and it goes for tens of thousands of dollars a ton. Whereas your regular construction sand, you can get stuff for five, 10 bucks a ton.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:43] Five or 10 bucks a ton, so the amount you need to turn a profit on this, paying people and having a supply chain, the amount you need is absolutely massive. So sustainable sand, the supply of that is finite, and the demand for sand it sounds like is, is actually not.
Vince Beiser: [00:29:58] Well yeah, because the demand for sand is us. It's people, and especially people moving into cities. That's really the key to the whole thing is that what's driving it is the fact that cities are growing at a pace and on a scale that just dwarfs anything that's ever happened before in history. Just to throw a couple more numbers your way, in 1950, there was about 750 million people worldwide living in cities. Today, there's about 4 billion people living in cities, and more and more of them coming all the time. And again, those cities are made primarily out of sand. They're all made out of concrete and glass. So it's that incredible urban boom that's happening mostly in the developing world, where people are pouring out of the countryside and pouring into cities that's driving the sand crisis. It's the exact same thing that happened in this country at the around in the early years of the 20th century. People left the countryside, they left farming and agriculture and started moving into cities, and that's when cities really started to grow in this country. Well, the same thing is happening in China, in India, and Indonesia, in Nigeria, all over the world, but it's happening on a much, much bigger scale and in a much more compressed timeframe. So it's happening much faster and with way more people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:27] Oh my gosh.
Vince Beiser: [00:31:27] Just one more, one more mind blowing stat. If I just throw this one your way. China, China, which is building cities at a mind boggling rate. China used more cement in the last few years than the United States did in the entire 20th century. So think of every concrete building and road and dam and airport runway that the United States bill between 1900 and 2000, while China used more concrete than that, just in this decade.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:59] Unbelievable. So it's the ground underneath our feet and it's the roof over our heads in the window or the screen we're looking at every single day, and it's catching up with us at some point here.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:10] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Vince Beiser. We'll be right back after these messages.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:15] This episode is also sponsored by FreshBooks. I know you run your own business, you love being your own boss. Paperwork, kind of a pain. I've been using FreshBooks for, I want to say going on 10 years. Jason, you used FreshBooks too, don't you?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:27] I've used them for about five years and they have made my life so incredibly easy with when it comes to accounting because as an independent contractor, that's one of the things that I dread. I'm like, “I just want to do my job, not have to worry about the books.” FreshBooks makes it so simple.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:41] What I like is you can automate invoices so they can send on a schedule. You don't have to recreate the same invoice over and over again, and you can see when people look at the invoice and the notification center. So there's no more like, “Oh, I didn't see it.” You can see when people open it, close it, open it, close it, you're like, “Uh-oh, maybe I should call this person or maybe I should shoot him an email or see what's going on here.” So you get a little bit of a warning there and you can hook up your debit and credit card and it will automatically expense. So when you use that card for say a business launch, it'll show up in the accounting software in FreshBooks, so you don't have to waste time entering that stuff too. So it gets rid of a lot of data entry and on the invoice, I know you use them, Jason, they've got this integration where you can send the invoice, they click the payment button your client does, and it uses their merchant stuff to just run the payments so they're not printing it off and mailing you a check or going to some website to do it. They literally click pay and then boom, there's the payment.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:36] It is so much easier since they've integrated this into the invoices that I get paid almost instantly when I send an invoice now, because people can just pay with their credit card right there. They don't have to go. Yeah, they don't have to print out a check, send it to invoicing and then we wait 30 days. People just pay. It goes so fast now. It's amazing. I also love the automated late reminders, so you can set when the invoice is due by and if they haven't paid by then or if you haven't marked it as paid even, then they will automatically start sending them nag notices saying, “Hey, pay this invoice.”
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Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:21] Right now, we're giving our listeners a free 30 day trial to FreshBooks, no credit card required. Just go to freshbooks.com/jordan, and enter JORDAN in the, How did you hear about us section? That's freshbooks.com/jordan, and don't forget in the How did you hear about us section, enter JORDAN.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:36] This episode is sponsored in part by Style For Work At Express. Express is the store that's been one of my staples for a while now through college into my professional years as a lawyer and beyond. What I like is they have great work clothes, but also things that look great when you're out at a happy hour or you're going out at night as well. Workplaces are more informal, it can be a little bit more casual, not too ridiculous of course. But nobody's showing up in suits and ties these days except for maybe lawyers still do that, I doubt it though. Express is a great balance for this new work environment. They're really leaning into it with their style for work line here. They've got the best dress pants, chinos, dress shirts, blazers, suits. So whether you need a suit for that upcoming job interview or just a blazer at a rock with some jeans because you're in the ad agency and that's what all the kids are wearing these days. You can refresh your closet so you can dress for the job that you want, and Express performance suiting is designed with stretch fabric that moves with you, keeps its shape perfect for short commutes, perfect for short commutes or cross country flights everywhere in between. Jason, where can they get them the Express?
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:27] Why is it that people are getting killed over sand? Obviously, demand causes markets which caused black markets which cause death and destruction. But it seems kind of there's a leap there from -- all right, we really need this sand, we really need these computer chips to people getting murdered and knocked off because of sand.
Vince Beiser: [00:36:47] Yeah, it does seem really, really crazy when you first hear about it. But in a nutshell, I mean, you're absolutely right. It boils down to money, so what's happening is there's an enormous demand for sand. And one of the things about sand that makes it tricky is it's very heavy. So a cubic yard of sand weighs more than a ton. Okay, so as soon as you start having a transport sand more than a few miles, the cost goes up really, really fast. So if you're a builder, you even want to get your sand from somewhere very close to where you're building, otherwise your costs go way up. So that puts a lot of pressure on sources of sand that are near to cities, whatever rivers and lakes and et cetera are nearby to cities. Now a lot of those things, mining is not allowed because of the damage that it causes to fish and to the ecosystems there and/or the people who live there don't want it.
[00:37:42] So to give you an example, this is one of the stories that I tell in the book. It's actually the first story that I really reported out when I first got onto this whole project. There's a village about an hour South of Delhi in India, in Deli of course is one of these booming developing world megalopolises, growing like crazy, huge demand for sand, for concrete. So in this village, one day, a bunch of local goons, and in India they call them the Sand Mafia. I kid you not sound.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:14] All right.
Vince Beiser: [00:38:15] I know it sounds kind of hilarious, but in fact, I mean as you'll see they're actually deadly serious. So Sand Mafia comes to town sees is about 200 acres of the villages land, and just as we're taking this over, rips out all the crops, tears up all the top soil, and starts mining the sand to sell to developers, because there's a lot of money to be made doing that. So one of the sort of village leaders, a guy named Paleram Chauhan tries to stand up against them. He says, “You can't do this. This is our land. You are stealing our land and furthermore, it's completely against the law to be mining sand anywhere in this whole region because it's an environmentally sensitive area.” So he goes around, he spends a long time going around to courts, going petitioning the local government, talking to the cops, trying to get these guys shut down, but because there's so much corruption in India, all the Sand Mafias have to do is spread a little bride money around and they get left alone. But after a while he really started to get under their skin, and so one of them says to this guy, Paleram Chauhan, they said, “You know, you're really starting to annoy us. You're starting to interfere with business. Stop it or we're going to kill you.” He doesn't stop. He keeps working trying to get them shut down. And a week after he was threatened, three guys burst into his house and shoot him dead in his own bed.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:39] I mean, that's horrible.
Vince Beiser: [00:39:40] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:41] That's over sand especially, like as valuable as it is, obviously human life has intrinsic value, one would like to think, and obviously, this isn't just -- and that happened one time and that's a shame sand. This is happening all over the place, all the time with something that's valuable.
Vince Beiser: [00:39:56] Exactly. It's happened, I mean at least dozens and dozens of times in India, in Kenya, in Indonesia, and it runs the gamut. It's from just local people trying to protect their own lands to environmental activists. Sometimes even police officers who've tried to shut these guys down. Sometimes it's battles between Sand Mafias fighting over sand like drug gangs and sometimes it's journalists. A number of journalists have been -- there's been journalists hacked to death with machetes. There was one who was burned to death not too long ago. People run over with sand trucks. It's a really, I mean, like I say, literally a hundreds of people have been murdered over sand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:40] Were you worried at all writing this story that you going to end up exposing some people that weren't super happy about it?
Vince Beiser: [00:40:46] Well, I tell you that the scariest thing that happened to be by far was I actually, when I was reporting that story I just told you about. I went to that village and went and met with Paleram Chauhan’s family, and got their whole story and talk to his widow and his kids and his family and everything. And then when we were done talking, his son, one of his sons offered to take me out to this area where the sand mining's happening. So we'd go out there and it's a big, huge just open face pit basically, great big strip mine, and we're out there kind of wandering around and we just by sheer bad luck, we bump into the very guy who threatened his father at an a passel of his shovel toting goons.
And this guy, as you can imagine, he knew right away who the son was, starts cursing them out in Hindi really bad and just saying like, “You are not leaving here. What are you doing here?” And things got really tense for a minute there. There’s this kind of standoff between us and these goons, and one of them at a certain point kind of realized that I was not an Indian sort of twigged on my white face and said, “Wait, that guy's a foreigner.” And that just kind of threw everybody for a minute because it's totally unfair, but you want to talk about white privilege, here's white privilege in Excelsis. In India, you can get away with -- if you're an Indian and you murder another Indian and you've got another enough money to pass around to bribe enough court officials, you can get away with it, which is what happened to Paleram Chauhan. But if you kill an American or a European, you probably are going to attract a lot more attention, you're going to bring a lot more trouble on yourself. So the fact that I was there just kind of, everybody just kind of stopped and was just really confused for a minute there, and we just sort of took advantage of that confusion that dive back into the car and take off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:44] Yikes, yeah, that's a bit close. I don't know if I'd want to get my head taken off with a shovel over a story about sand or anything for that matter.
Vince Beiser: [00:42:52] I wouldn't either. But I'll tell you, I mean you asked if I was worried about it. So that was scary for me. But I worry constantly about this guy, the son of this guy, because he still lives there. He's still there and he is still -- he's sort of picked up his father's crusades, speaks out against the Sand Mafia all the time. He's trying to get them shut down. So I mean, it's him and guys like him that are really on the front lines there. They're the ones that worry about.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:19] Yeah, that's kind of terrifying. There's no really getting around that. This obviously the sand mining that they're doing there is illegal. And I've read in your book that Morocco, for example, uses mostly stolen sand. I mean, how did you even find that out? That seems like a fact they might want to cover up a little bit. It's not exactly a selling point.
Vince Beiser: [00:43:40] Yeah. I can't, to be honest, that's not something that I reported out myself. That's something that other folks have reported and I haven't seen it contradicted anywhere. We know for sure there's a hell of a lot of illegal sand mining in Morocco in particular on their beaches. I mean, there are whole stretches of the Moroccan Coast that used to be beaches that just now look like the moon because they've just stripped out all the sand and just right down to the bare rock.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:08] Oh my gosh. So these are road beaches because you're mining offshore and then the sand that's on shore, just what slides back down into the ocean.
Vince Beiser: [00:44:16] It can do that, but more often like in Morocco now they're just taking sand right off the beach.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:21] Oh my gosh. They're taking it off the -- what do they just hoovering it up?
Vince Beiser: [00:44:25] Yeah. Well, I tell you, it's a whole range of things that can be, there's a sand mine, there's a beach sand mine here in California, by the way. There used to be lots of them. We used to mine sand off of beaches here in California. It's used for construction until it wasn't until about the 1980s. They finally got around to banning that because there was just wiping these beaches off the map. Thanks to a legal loophole, there is still one beach sand mine left in all of America, and it's here in California, and yeah, it's a big dredge that sweeps the sand up. So it can be on that kind of industrial scale or sometimes it's just guys, like local guys with a pickup truck and a bunch of shovels going down to the local river bank or the local sea beach and just shoveling up a pickup truck load of sand or loading up a donkey full of sand and selling it to the guy down the road who's building a little hotel or something.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:21] So this is so important. If sand is so important, do we need to have a strategic reserve of sand like we did with petroleum and other resources?
Vince Beiser: [00:45:31] Well, I'll tell you something. Singapore, the city state of Singapore does have a strategic reserve of sand. They're really kind of a special case. The reason they need it so much is they do an enormous amount of artificial land making, land reclamation as it's called. Because basically Singapore is a tiny little place, it's really just a city that is also a country. They've got a big population and very, very little land, and nowhere to expand except the out into the ocean. So for the last 50 years they have been steadily building artificial land, all of it with sand, and they get most of that sand from their neighboring countries, from Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia. They have imported so much sand for so long that almost all of those countries by now have banned the export of sand to Singapore because it was doing so much damage in their countries. So Singapore is still getting, they're still importing sand from wherever they can in the neighborhood. They get a lot now from Myanmar and other places, but they have set aside a stockpile against the day when they can't get ahold of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:46] Yeah, that's crazy. That should signal a massive red flag if people are actually stockpiling sand. So it seems like that is also then increasing the demand because they're actually buying more than they need aside from the crazy insane amount that they already need in order to have a reserve. So what is this doing to the environment? Yes, it's causing beaches to go away, but what does this mean and what else is going on with the environmental damage?
Vince Beiser: [00:47:12] Sure. Okay, so to answer that question, let me just back up a little bit and tell you there's sort of two main ways that we mined sand. One is from the water and one is from land. So mining it from the water is probably the most common. It's the easiest and the cheapest way to get sand, and that's basically you send a dredge, a big flat bottom boat or it can be a small boat actually, I've seen that in a lot of places as well, out into the water, out onto a river or out onto a lake or even in the ocean, and you just basically drop a big pipe down to the bottom and suck up sand just like you'd suck something up through a straw. So when you do that, of course, anything that was living on that river bottom or that lake bottom is gone, because you've just wiped its entire habitat out.
[00:48:09] You also stir up a lot of all the muck and the silt in the mud and whatever else was down there. It gets really stirred up and clouds up the water, which can suffocate whatever else was living in that water or whatever fish are swimming around in that water or coral reefs. This has happened in a lot of the places in the ocean where all that stirred up silt then settles back down on top of coral reefs and it can just smother them. And it also all the clouded water blocks sunlight from getting down to the vegetation, whatever plants are growing on the bottom or along the sides of that body of water. So that kind of thing, that river sand mining has decimated populations of fish and birds and other living creatures all over India.
[00:48:59] I report it from a place called Lake Poyang in China, which is probably the world's biggest sand mine. It's an enormous lake in China that is also home to -- it’s Asia's biggest winter home for migratory birds, so some huge proportion of migrating birds stop over there. They're threatened by the sand mining that goes on there. There's also several endangered species like the freshwater porpoise that live in that lake that are also being endangered by sand mining. So you have all those kinds of impacts going on with waterborne sand mining. Also, you take that much sand out of a river, it can come out of the rivers bottom. It can cause the banks of the river to collapse. They slide into the trough that you've created, and this has happened also in many parts of the world. In Vietnam for instance, place I reported about the whole farmers’ fields have just collapsed into the river, whole villages, people's homes restaurants, businesses just collapsed right into the river, thanks to sand mining.
[00:50:07] So that's happening in the water. That's probably some of the worst of it. And then there are terrestrial sand mine, sand mines on the land, that's where you find a nice deposit of sand that was put there centuries or millennia go by a river or whatever. And to get at that stuff, you need to strip off whatever's in the way. So just like those farmers’ fields that I was talking about, there are thousands of acres of field of agricultural fields and forests that are being stripped away so that people can get at the sand that's below the ground. And this is happening by the way in a big way in Western Wisconsin here in the United States. There's a little bit of a special case where they've found a sand that's used for fracking. You know what fracking is of course, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:56] Sure, yeah, but why don't we tell the audience just in case they've heard of it but aren't sure what it is.
Vince Beiser: [00:51:01] Sure. So fracking is, it's a method of extracting oil and gas from rock formation. So it turns out there's a lot of oil and gas, it's basically trapped in rock in North Dakota and in Texas, particularly they have found a lot of this stuff. To get that stuff out, you need to frack or fracture that rock, and the way that you do it is you drill a hole and you shoot into that hole highly pressurized mix of water, chemicals, and sand in the mix of water and chemicals cracks the rock fractures it, spider webs it with cracks, and the sand then shoots up into those cracks and holds them open. So the droplets of oil and gas can then flow through the cracks and flow into your oil well. So that's how you frack. Now you need a very particular kind of sand for fracking, it's got to be extremely hard, because there's enormous pressure on those cracks, the ground wants to close them up again and unlike most in, it needs to be kind of rounded. So the oil droplets can flow around it easily. Well, turns out there's a lot of exactly that kind of sand in Western Wisconsin. There's no oil or gas in Wisconsin at all, but the fracking boom in North Dakota and Texas has created a frac sand mining boom in Wisconsin. And like I say, all over Western Wisconsin mining companies are tearing up agricultural land, sometimes chopping down forests in order to get at this frac sand that they then sell to drillers in North Dakota and Texas.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:40] Obviously sand mining's seems to attract some of the worst people and it causes a ton of corruption. There's ties to the government and the miners in other countries and probably in this country as well. But is there anything like sustainable sand mining or green mining? Is there anything like that that we can advocate for, or is it just impossible because sand is all at the bottom of the ocean and the river and that's pretty much all there is to it?
Vince Beiser: [00:53:05] No, there's absolutely things we can do. I mean, listen, when I talk about, there's definitely environmental damage and human damage being caused by sand mining in this country, in the United States, but it's not nearly as bad as it is in a lot of other countries and places like India, Indonesia. And the reason for that is because we a pretty decent system of rules and regulations about where you can mind sand, how much of it you can mind, what kind of methods you can use, and we have a pretty decent method for enforcing those rules. Not perfect by any means. You know, people still break those rules, those rules go on enforced, but by and large it's not that terrible in this country. So one thing we can certainly do is to press for better rules, better controls on sand mining and other places and also for better enforcement. Okay, so in India they have pretty good rules on the books to protect the environment. For instance, like I said, that that village where Paleram Chauhan was murdered, technically, legally it's plainly and unambiguously illegal to mine sand anywhere in that region. But there's no enforcement because the system is so corrupt because it's so easy to pay off police and judicial officials. So corruption is another thing to look at.
[00:54:29] Another way to look at it is to think about ways that we can replace sand. That we can diminish our need for sand by replacing it with other things. And there is a lot of research going on around the world to try and develop for instance types of concrete that use less sand or that use something else besides sand that replaced sand with things like shredded plastic or bamboo or even hemp. There is a product called hempcrete. I can't vouch for it but as to how well it works, but I know it exists. So those are all, I think to be celebrated and to be supportive. But really if you're really looking for a long-term solution, to me, the question isn't what can we do about sand? The question is what do we do about everything? Because sand it's only one natural resource. It's only the most recent natural resource to make the list of things that were overusing. We all know where we're using too much freshwater, we're pulling too many fish out of the seas, we're cutting down too many trees, we're eating up the Earth, we're using up natural resources much too fast in a way that's just completely unsustainable, and sand is just one of those.
[00:55:47] So to me, they're all just symptoms of the larger problem, which is simply that our whole way of life is unsustainable. We just consume too much. And in a world where there's already seven billion people and we're fast on our way to a world of nine or 10 billion people in the next couple of decades. We just have to find a way to build our cities in particular to structure and organize our cities in such a way that they use fewer resources that they're built more sustainably, so that we can use not only less sand, but less of everything. Does that make sense?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:25] Yeah, it does, it does. It sounds like we have to figure -- we can't just replace it with something else because we're just going to end up with another problem due to the massive demand for building and expanding it in consumption.
Vince Beiser: [00:56:36] Exactly, exactly. I mean, even if you could came up with a way to replace, even if you could come, if like even if hempcrete turned out to be the silver bullet and you could replace all of sand with hemp, where are we going to get 50 billion tons of hemp every year? Every year?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:52] We're going to end up planting hemp over crops that people need to eat because we need that instead.
Vince Beiser: [00:56:58] Exactly. You just create a whole new set of problems. So the bottom line is we just have to figure out a way to stop, to use less, to just use fewer natural resources, which I believe is doable, absolutely, not easy but doable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:13] Yeah. So next time you go to the beach and you've got a bunch of sand in your shoes and you're annoyed by it, just think about how valuable that could potentially be.
Vince Beiser: [00:57:21] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:22] There you go, and that's the right kind of sand too, right? That's not desert sand. That's the good stuff right there.
Vince Beiser: [00:57:26] Right, absolutely, absolutely. And beaches are, like I said, beaches are being stripped all around the world. Like I said, even right here in California, there's still a beach sand mine where they pull sand right off of an absolutely gorgeous beach. It's just North of Monterey. I went there reporting on the book and they just pull sand, hundreds of thousands of tons of sand every year off that beach to use for building.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:51] Ah, what a shame. Well, I think the awareness around this is always a good first step and I just, this is usually outside of our normal scope on the show, but I just thought this was very interesting because of course I knew that glass made of sand, but I didn't really think about concrete. I certainly didn't think about silicon processors and chips and things like that and I didn't think about the demand for concrete globally that is causing this problem. So I really found the book quite interesting. Again, the title for everyone in The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Really interesting look at everything from bottles to semiconductors and the kind of damage we're wrecking on our environment and on our civilization when we're out there killing each other for something that we normally don't value at all, that that usually just ends up in our shorts literally when we're at the beach and showered right off, it turns out to be something that people are getting murdered over and certain parts of the world. So Vince, thank you very much for coming on the show today.
Vince Beiser: [00:58:48] Well thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:53] Interesting show. I told you. See Jason? Sand, who knew?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:58:57] I read the book and I was fascinated all the way through. I was just one of those things where it's just like, seriously Jordan, you want to do a show about sand? I mean I'm like spies and that kind of thing, I'm down, but sand really? But it turned out awesome.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:09] Yeah, because once you get into the book, he goes in depth on, “Hey, you know, concrete, that's what this does.” But “Yeah, what about glass?” “Oh yeah, what about semiconductors?” “Oh yeah, what about,” and this is just everything we need and use to advance our technology and live like normal humans in our day and age. It's all because of sand, and it's not desert sand, which is scary, because at first I thought, “Great, we have whole deserts. We're good. We're solid.” But we're not. We're not at all. Great big thank you to Vince Beiser. The book title is The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization, continues to transform civilization in fact. And if you want to know how I managed to book all these great guests, manage all these relationships, stay friends with them, the people that come on the show, make connections with people that are going to be here in the future. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. A lot of people say, “Yeah, I'm going to do that soon.” “It's on my list.” “I got a lot of other things going on.” “I'm working on this now.” This is minutes per day. The problem with procrastinating kicking the can down the road, you can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking, I see this all the time. People don't dig the well before they're thirsty and then they need relationships and they're like, “Oh, I got to start doing that” Once you need relationships, you are way too late. Again, minutes per day, this is not a habit you can ignore. It's the stuff I wish I knew a decade ago, more two decades ago. You can find that all at jordanharbinger.com/course, and speaking of building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway here from Vince Beiser. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, doing a lot on Instagram these days. Send me your questions there. I do little videos and I try to give you some insight into my life as far as insofar as I think it's relevant to you, making yourself better. I try not to be like “I'm eating a good burrito now.” I hate that stuff. I think it's a waste of time, but the rest of it I'm trying to bring a little extra value to your social needs and don't forget if you want to learn how to apply everything you heard today from Vince Beiser, go grab those worksheets, also in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[01:01:12] This episode is produced and edited by Jason “Sand In My Keyboard” DeFillippo. Show notes by Robert Fogarty. Worksheets by Caleb Bacon. Booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger. And I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. Lots more in the pipeline. Very excited to bring it to you and in the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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